What is Clinical Pilates?
Clinical Pilates is a form of exercise which focuses on core stability, balance, posture, strength, flexibility and breath control. Pilates was a method of exercise developed in Germany during the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Clinical Pilates is based on these methods; however, it is used in conjunction with physiotherapy as a way to recover from injuries and treat certain conditions.
There is strong evidence to support the use of therapeutic exercise such as clinical Pilates for the treatment and management of illness and injury, particularly lower back pain. Clinical Pilates focuses mainly on core stability, by strengthening and retraining deep stabilising muscles which improves posture, strength and flexibility.
There are six basic principles used in Pilates, these are:
- Focus – concentrating on specific muscles and the correct performance of exercises.
- Centre – creating a neutral spine and activating core stabilising muscles to support the back and pelvis.
- Control – careful control of movements and maintaining good posture.
- Flow – to flow smoothly and efficiently with each movement
- Precision – ensuring correct technique and attention to detail
- Breathing – maintaining normal and relaxed breathing throughout each exercise.
Clinical Pilates vs. Regular Pilates
Regular Pilates is very beneficial for many people, and for certain injuries. However, it is used as a generic form of exercise that is not tailored to everyone. Clinical Pilates differs in this way. Compared to Pilates classes, clinical Pilates identifies key issues with a patient and then tailors each exercise specifically to address these problems. Clinical Pilates is one on one, and the benefits for the patient go far beyond regular Pilates.
Some of the main benefits of clinical Pilates include:
- Increased muscle strength
- Improved flexibility
- Improved posture and core strength
- Injury prevention
- Aids recovery
- Teaches breath control
- Improved movement patterns
- Strengthens stomach muscles
- Increased coordination
- Improves overall tone
- Improves balance
Clinical Pilates can be beneficial to almost anyone with acute or chronic pain, or when recovering from an injury. However, there is much more that clinical Pilates provides:
Clinical Pilates can target specific areas to strengthen muscles that are causing problems that result in back pain. Whether it’s due to poor posture, a lack of core strength or weak muscles, Clinical Pilates is very effective in strengthening abdominal and lower back muscles and reducing pain.
Clinical Pilates is great for general fitness and remaining active. A consistent level of physical activity is better than none at all, and Clinical Pilates helps to maintain fitness, benefitting overall health and wellbeing.
Clinical Pilates has a focus on core stability and helps with strengthening muscles which keeps the body functioning properly. Clinical Pilates strengthens muscles around commonly injured joints which improves overall function.
Clinical Pilates is an effective and safe form of exercise during and after pregnancy. It helps prepare women for birth and helps with the recovery period after birth. This is all done in a safe manner within each person’s limits. Strengthening the pelvic floor is also an important part of clinical Pilates, which helps to prevent incontinence both during and after pregnancy.
Clinical Pilates is often used as a safe and effective form of exercise to rehabilitate from injuries or surgery. Clinical Pilates is guided by a qualified physiotherapist, making it a very safe and effective way to recover from a variety of injuries.
Clinical Pilates can address muscle imbalances and poor posture which increase the risk of injury. Good posture and muscle stability are essential for strength and flexibility, making the body more resistant to injury.